Friday, December 31, 2010

DePhoMo 25 - 31

Cheyenne With the Tree

DePhoMo 25 - Cheyenne posing with the gifts, Christmas morning.

Sushi at Sekai Sushi - Mesa, AZ

DePhoMo 26 - Sushi at Sekai Sushi in Mesa. Very very good - but I have to say the curry and pork that Scotty's mom got blew everything else out of the water.

Loki on Christmas Day

DePhoMo 27 - Loki on her rock (actually taken Christmas Day).

Alicia with Pepper

DePhoMo 28 - Alicia with Pepper (taken Christmas Eve).

Pepper in the Car

DePhoMo 29 - Pepper in the van (also taken Christmas Eve).

Parrots at the Wildlife World Zoo

DePhoMo 30 - Parrots at the Wildlife World Zoo.

Loki on Scotty

DePhoMo 31 - Loki on Scotty's back.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Review: Lulu and the Brontosaurus

Lulu and the BrontosaurusLulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Most of my love for this book comes from the illustrations. I love them. So much. I actually would like prints for my (future) house. Please? Christmas present?

This is another kids' book that I think would be a great read-aloud. Particularly with a whole room full of kids. It's super cute on its own - but I'd like to see how a five-year-old reacts to it.

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Review: The Kingdom of Ohio

The Kingdom of OhioThe Kingdom of Ohio by Matthew Flaming

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is definitely a puzzle. It sort of turns everything on its head. Even if you think you know American/Ohioan history, the information presented in this book will make you wonder if you're missing something. There are layers of confusion and uncertainty in here. I really enjoyed reading it, piecing things together, and then looking into it afterwards, to find out how much of it was true.

Some of the characterization did feel flat to me and the narrator's conceit didn't really work all that well; he's totally transparent. But it's definitely a good thinking book.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I have to say, I had a wonderful Christmas.

 It was filled with family. That's the best way to celebrate, I think.

Not only human family - but furry family...

...and scaly family, too.

 There were a lot of laughs...

 ...and some awesome presents.

Here's to Christmas 2010. And to an awesome new year.

Friday, December 24, 2010

DePhoMo 23 + 24

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad from BJ's Brewery

DePhoMo 23 - a tomato and mozzarella salad from BJ's Brewery. Scotty, Alicia, and I went there for dinner last night. So good!

Loki in Her Hammock

DePhoMo 24 - This is how Loki stayed all morning today... sitting in her hammock staring out at everyone. I love her belly.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

DePhoMo 22

 Pretend the date for this entry is the 22nd! :)
My DePhoMo for today is the first photo, with two others below it. It's Loki, of course! She's sitting on Scotty's computer chair.

Loki 3 12/22/10

Loki 2 12/22/10

Loki 12/22/10

She's been acting tired lately. She got a clean bill of health from the vet, so I don't think anything is wrong, but she seems like she's slowing down earlier lately. First she was sick with the parasites, then she got better from that and acted like her old self, and now she's crazy in the morning but tired and slow in the evenings. Gah. Scotty thinks it's because she just finished shedding her head - she's probably got to shed her body now and that's kind of tiring for anybody, right?

She's sitting on my shoulder right now. Kind of like my own little heater since she was just basking. And... yep... she just tried to jump on the back of my chair. She doesn't understand she can't climb it. Just sits there scrabbling at it.

Hmm... I wonder if she's just getting bored? Now that I have her out, she seems much more active. I guess she wasn't out as much as usual this past weekend.

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Haha. That was her climbing on my keyboard. She's going a little crazy so I think I'll end this here. :)

DePhoMo 17-21

This should have been posted on the 21st! I totally forgot about it.

Zebra at the Wildlife World Zoo

DePhoMo 17 - My favorite picture from our visit to the Wildlife World Zoo on the 17th.

DePhoMo 18 - I took this earlier this month but never shared it. Cheyenne sleeping on our bed.

DePhoMo 19 - I also took this earlier this month. I got this advance copy of Wither by Lauren DeStefano in the mail totally randomly. I really need to get started on it!

Owl Says Read

DePhoMo 20 - My cute little reading owl at work.

Musical Horse

DePhoMo 21 - At work we had a "Decorate a Stocking" contest and I came in 2nd place with my drawing of a cow. (I'll have to take a picture of it.) I won this musical rocking horse! Sorry about the busy background; I wanted a picture after I had unwrapped it at work.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Review: Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest BestiarySquirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary by David Sedaris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Maybe I ought to listen to a Sedaris audiobook sometime instead of just reading it. Given these Goodreads reviews it sounds like he adds a lot to his stories when he reads them aloud.

I don't know, I liked this, but I felt like something was lacking. They're animal stories, only the animals are pretty much human, and they're trying to tell something, like an Aesop fable, only it's really over the top so it's pretty obvious. Oh, and there are creepy cool illustrations... I was surprised at how much the eyes getting plucked out bugged me.

What kept bothering me was the way the animal world was presented. Every animal from a top predator on down is conscious and can talk and communicate, but they all still get eaten. I guess if I imagine myself as a little gerbil in the animal kingdom I would be pretty much catatonic with fear all the time, and also, I would not let myself be put in a zoo, especially if I was a giant hippopotamus, and especially not if I had leeches in my butt as a result.

Okay. Off to look for the audiobook, if there is one yet.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Review: Waiting for Normal

Waiting for NormalWaiting for Normal by Leslie Connor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Addie is a wonderful character. She's sweet, gregarious and funny, the bright star in what was a somewhat predictable but enjoyable book. Yes, I think anybody could probably predict the last ten pages of the book by reading the first ten, but the journey there is fun. The setting is cool - a tiny sixth-grader sized trailer across the street from a convenience store manned by adults who actually have a sense of humor - and the characters are... well, I guess gentle is the word I want to use here. Maybe even a little too saccharine sweet, as in the character of Addie's youngest sister. I like that the book provides perspective on some alternative viewpoints while still remaining true to Addie herself.

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Review: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Scott Pilgrim, #2)Scott Pilgrim vs. The World by Bryan Lee O'Malley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Meh. This 2nd volume in the Scott Pilgrim series is not quite as good as the first. It opens with some slightly confusing jumping around (O'Malley's art style doesn't help much, since all the girls practically look the same) and the fight with the Evil Ex-Boyfriend is pretty lame; it was the slowest part of the movie for me, too, but at least it had some fun special effects.

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Review: 11 Birthdays

11 Birthdays11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass

 My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 This was a cute book marred by unrealistic characterization and an ending that really comes out of nowhere.

It's reminiscent of Groundhog Day, but with 11-year-olds and middle school instead of a middle-aged weatherman. There's a curse, a mysterious old woman, and school drama to deal with.

Unfortunately the fun of repeating the day is somewhat limited by the age of the characters. Whereas Phil Connors could do a lot of crazy stuff once he embraced the concept of the day repeating, the kids can't - they have to deal with questioning adults, a lack of immediate funds and the inability to drive or, well, do anything fun. That makes each repeating day just something to slog through.

The kids also act well beyond their years. I kept thinking the two main characters were more like 15 or 16. This is probably because when I was 11, I wasn't dealing with the same social crap that they were. I was definitely more a kid than a teenager.

That being said, the book is really very cute. It offers up a sweet look at two 11-year-olds who learn to trust and rely on each other; I just wish there was more fun and less middle school drama. 

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

At the Wildlife World Zoo

We went to the Wildlife World Zoo on Friday. It's a combination zoo and aquarium with a really cool restaurant inside the zoo. It was a really fun day.

Fog on the way to the Wildlife World Zoo
It was FOGGY!

Fog on the way to the Wildlife World Zoo

Flamingos at the Wildlife World Zoo
Flamingos in front of the restaurant.

Peacock at the Wildlife World Zoo
This peacock has the right idea... don't wait for them to feed you, go to the food!

Gibbon at the Wildlife World Zoo
A gibbon. There was a baby in their enclosure, and he was so cute!

Sleeping Tortoise at the Wildlife World Zoo
He was sleeping... but doesn't he look happy?

Monitor Lizard at the Wildlife World Zoo 2
I loved this monitor lizard. He was so cute and friendly.

Monitor Lizard at the at the Wildlife World Zoo

Crocodile at the Wildlife World Zoo
I also loved this crocodile. He looks like a Disney character to me with his big eyes and snaggly teeth.

Galapagos Tortoise at the Wildlife World Zoo
Galapagos tortoise. We arrived early in the morning when they were feeding the animals, so they were either eating or waiting excitedly for food.

Baby Porcupine at the Wildlife World Zoo
Baby porcupine!

Baby Animal at the Wildlife World Zoo
Baby... um... I'm not sure.

Rhinocerous at the Wildlife World Zoo

Zebra at the Wildlife World Zoo
My favorite picture - a zebra.

Me feeding a giraffe at the Wildlife World Zoo
Feeding the giraffes!

View from the train at the Wildlife World Zoo
We took the train ride through some of the exhibits.

Us on the train at the Wildlife World Zoo

Scotty with a sulcata at the Wildlife World Zoo
Scotty with a sulcata tortoise.

Me with the goats at the Wildlife World Zoo 2
Me with the goats. Oh my gosh, the black one I'm holding was so cute. He climbed right into my lap. Also note the other one behind me chewing on my new bag.

Me with the goats at the Wildlife World Zoo
Arrrghhh so cute.

Aquarium at the Wildlife World Zoo
Part of the aquarium - there are 3 buildings filled with tanks.

Me with the rays at the Wildlife World Zoo
Feeding the rays.

We stopped by Ikea and Fry's Electronics, and Scotty won this Yoshi for me from a game machine :)